8 July 2012 | Posted inBlog News & Updates
Posted by Deborah
The Olympics will be starting in a couple of weeks and there are signs of the building excitement everywhere. Most of the events are happening in the London area, but some are taking place in other cities. Coventry, which is near Birmingham, has some of the soccer games and I’ll be attending an afternoon of Women’s Football where I’ll see the Canadian Team playing South Africa. I just bought the ticket yesterday having heard some were available and I want to support my fellow Canadians and wave the maple leaf flag.
Last week the torch relay came to Birmingham and every city resident received a letter from the town council with a map of the route. The closest point to me was the starting point at 6:00 AM on Sunday from Victoria Square outside City Hall. I got there at 5:30 AM and managed to squeeze in along the street front where the runners would leave the square. There was a choir and the mayor was there in full formal regalia, but the main focus was on all the torch bearers who would be carrying it for the day. They walked past us to get on the transport that was going to take them to their transfer points and it was great to see the variety of people who had been chosen. You could see the excitement that each of them felt and their pride to be part of it. The young girl who started the relay went by me so quickly that I decided try and see more by running along behind as the crowds dispersed. The second person was being pushed in a wheelchair, so I was able to catch up as the pace slowed. I then ran ahead to the next point where the flame was to be transferred. The fellow there was surrounded by people having their pictures taken with him and the torch. It was all very casual and as the previous torchbearer came near, police politely asked us to back up a little and make room. I was just five feet away from where the next torch was lit from the flame of the previous one, but the street in front of me was packed. Even though it was very early, I’m glad I went and participated by running as well.
It’s evident that the Olympics will be here in the UK as the Queens Jubilee bunting has been replaced by Olympic bunting. I’ve been hoping that Birmingham’s Bull will get a new Olympic jumper as his Union Jack one has been removed, but with all the restrictions on using the Olympic logo that probably won’t happen. However, the summer flower displays in the city depict athletic events. The Jamaican and US track teams will be training in Birmingham before the Olympics and the floral display outside City Hall is of Usain Bolt. I’m sure I’ll be watching a lot of television during the weeks the Olympics are on and hope that our Canadian team will do well; however, I’ll be cheering for the Brits as well.